When are any members of the B.C. Liberal caucus going to sound an alarm about the climate crisis?

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      Sometimes on the weekends, a thought will pop into my mind and it will become the basis for a post.

      This morning, I read an article by U.S. climate writer Joe Romm, entitled "NASA just made a stunning discovery about how fracking fuels global warming".

      It was posted a year-and-a-half ago on the Climate Progress site but only came to my attention thanks to a tweet by Green Leader Elizabeth May.

      "NASA found that most of the huge rise in global methane emissions in the past decade is in fact from the fossil fuel industry–and that this rise is 'substantially larger' than previously thought," Romm wrote. "And that means natural gas is, as many earlier studies have found, not a climate solution."

      As Romm pointed out, methane has 86 times the heat-trapping potential of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period. 

      I don't think that many members of the B.C. legislature who support the fracking of natural gas and the growth of a liquefied natural gas industry are necessarily stupid. No one would suggest that B.C. Liberal MLAs like Ben Stewart or Ralph Sultan or Jane Thornthwaite or Sam Sullivan are missing in action intellectually.

      But I do believe that the B.C. Liberal caucus is in deep denial when it deludes itself into thinking that LNG can be a bridge fuel to a low-carbon future.

      Romm's article, backed by NASA's research and many other studies, conclusively demonstrates that those who subscribe to this notion are out to lunch.

      "Bottom Line: Wishful thinking and industry estimates do not actually make fracked gas a good climate strategy," Romm wrote.

      In the final week of the 2017 B.C. election campaign, I stated in an article that the B.C. Liberals under Christy Clark were "particularly vulnerable to the Greens" because her government had been such an extreme climate laggard.

      That's because the Green party appeals to some high-income voters who are utterly freaked out about rising levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

      It's Physics 101. Add too many heat-trapping gases from fossil fuels and you eventually arrive at a climate breakdown.

      And the B.C. Liberals needed to win certain constituencies with high-income voters in 2017 to retain control over the B.C. legislature. They didn't.

      B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson has positioned himself as a friend of the fossil-fuel industry, which isn't necessarily going to win him votes in constituencies like Burnaby North and North Vancouver–Lonsdale.

      After the 2017 election, I wrote an article suggesting that the B.C. Liberals were doomed if they don't do an about-face with their climate policy.

      Under new leader Andrew Wilkinson, they haven't.

      In fact, the B.C. Liberals have doubled down on their support for the Trans Mountain pipeline and LNG, eagerly guzzling the petroganda-flavoured Kool-Aid being peddled by the industry.

      As a result, Wilkinson can likely kiss off ever winning the bellwether seats of Burnaby North, Vancouver–Point Grey, and Vancouver-Fairview, which have lots of high-income, green-minded voters.

      His party almost lost the safe seat of Vancouver–False Creek in 2017—and I suspect that this too was linked in part to former premier Clark's climate policies.

      It was a factor in the loss of North Vancouver–Lonsdale, a previously safe B.C. Liberal seat.

      Wilkinson will also likely never win back Oak Bay–Gordon Head, which would have been a B.C. Liberal cakewalk had former premier Clark not frittered it away with her lack of environmental consciousness.

      And this constituency's two-term MLA, B.C. Green Leader Andrew Weaver, will have no choice but to continue propping up the NDP government because the B.C. Liberals remain so stubbornly in favour of the fossil-fuel sector.

      From a green perspective, the B.C. NDP is the lesser evil.

      To some B.C. voters, it appears as though Wilkinson is in cahoots with Alberta premier Jason Kenney, who's seen by green-minded voters as an environmental villain.

      Sooner or later—likely after the B.C. Liberals lose another provincial election—some within the party will start to question whether their know-it-all leader has made the most foolish political error of the 21st century.

      Wilkinson may be a Rhodes Scholar, but that doesn't mean he has a PhD in climate science or any deep interest in addressing humanity's greatest threat.

      Many members of his caucus have children and grandchildren. Surely, one or two or three of them must be aware of the folly of their party's stance on climate issues.

      During the Gordon Campbell era, the B.C. Liberals invested considerable political capital in containing the growth of greenhouse gas emissions, even in the face of opposition from corporate supporters.

      Anyone who can do basic math and is paying attention understands the predicament we're in.

      Here's the upshot for the B.C. Liberals: some smart people will shy away from seeking B.C. Liberal nominations in bellwether ridings like Vancouver–Point Grey, Vancouver-Fairview, Burnaby North, and North Vancouver–Lonsdale in the next election unless the leader doesn't face up to the climate reality.

      No star candidates mean no excitement, fewer donations to the party, and less media interest in these races.

      In a few years, I suspect, the B.C. Liberals will authentically acknowledge the importance of the climate crisis to a sizeable segment of the electorate. They're not even close to that point right now.

      Either that, or they'll disappear like the dinosaurs, becoming yet another relic of B.C.'s political history.